Stephen Stirling, a horn player whose performances and recordings have gained an international reputation, will play Richard Strauss’s Second Concerto.
A dazzling horn concerto – featuring one of Europe’s leading soloists – will be matched with the blazing intensity of Tchaikovsky’s famous ‘Pathétique’ symphony in the St Albans Symphony Orchestra’s spring concert on Saturday March 10th (7.30pm, St Saviour’s Church, Sandpit Lane, St Albans).
Stephen Stirling, a horn player whose performances and recordings have gained an international reputation, will play Richard Strauss’s Second Concerto. Stephen is Principal Horn player of the City of London Sinfonia, whose professional musicians provide coaching for the amateur St Albans players. He has broadcast concertos on BBC TV and Radio 3 and appeared with orchestras that include the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, as well as making critically-acclaimed recordings of chamber music.
Although written during World War II, when Strauss was in his late 70s, the second horn concerto is full of charm and invention, including a witty (and fiercely difficult) finale.
Tchaikovsky’s sixth and final symphony earned its famous subtitle twice through the tragic passion of its unexpected conclusion and the composer’s death just nine days after he conducted the premiere in 1893. Official accounts suggest that he died from cholera, but claims of suicide have persisted – as the BBC season ‘The Tchaikovsky Experience’ recently demonstrated.
However, there can be no debate about the symphony’s enduring popularity. The composer regarded the Pathétique as his greatest work, moving through drama, dance and martial triumph before setting out on its heartfelt final journey.
The concert, under the baton of SASO’s conductor James Ross, will open in lighter, celebrational mood with another audience favourite, the Academic Festival Overture by Brahms.
Tickets, price £12 and £8 (Under 18s £1, Students £5), are available from the SASO Ticket Secretary (01727 857422) or on the door.
For further information, contact David Utting, SASO Publicity Officer, 01727 762855.